Jane, Unlimited: Book Review

20171128_121946 (1)Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore is a mix between a standalone novel and a collection of short stories, which Cashore describes as something resembling a choose-your-own-adventure story. It follows the title character, Jane, as she follows her late Aunt Magnolia’s advice to go to Tu Reviens, a mysterious grand house on its own island, if ever she gets the chance. The book is split into six sections: Tu Reviens, which introduces the characters and the situation, and five short stories, each in their own genres, and which each follow Jane as she makes a particular choice. The stories are, however, designed to be read in the order, as they do have a plot arc between them.

I picked up Jane, Unlimited because Cashore is one of my favourite authors: I loved all of her previous books, Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue, which are all standalone but related fantasy novels. So I knew that, even though it’s completely different, I would love Jane, Unlimited too.

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The Wise Man’s Fear, Kingkiller Chronicles 2: Book Review

The Wise Man’s Fear is the second installment in Patrick Rothfuss’ bestselling Kingkiller Chronicles. This is the second day of Kvothe telling his life story, covering a shorter time period than the first book, The Name Of The Wind (you can find my review of it here) – only a year or two – during Kvothe’s time at the University and his break from studying in which he travels, and yet it is longer than the first book – almost a thousand pages long.

I simply had to pick up this book as soon as I finished The Name Of The Wind – the first book leaves us with many unanswered questions.

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The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Gentleman Bastard Sequence 1: Book Review

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch is the first in the Gentleman Bastard sequence, a seven-book fantasy series following expert con-artist Locke Lamora (aka the Thorn of Camorr) as he and his gang, the Gentlemen Bastards, perform intricate tricks on the unsuspecting nobility of the ancient city of Camorr to get their money from them. But a war in Camorr’s lively underworld – and the fact that someone powerful is now close on the Thorn’s tail – threatens to pull all their plans apart in the most unexpected of ways. Continue reading “The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Gentleman Bastard Sequence 1: Book Review”

Heartless: Book Review

Heartless by Marissa Meyer is a standalone which tells the origin story of the Queen of Hearts. But before she was royalty, she was Cath, the daughter of a marquis who dreamed of opening a bakery with her maid. She would much prefer that to marrying the jovial but spineless king, who desires her hand, despite what her mother says about baking being below her. And when Jest, the new court joker, arrives in the kingdom of Hearts, Cath finds another reason to try to refuse the king.

But Cath’s problems aren’t the only things keeping her and Jest apart. Jest has come to Hearts for more important things than to be the court joker, and falling for Cath poses quite an obstacle…

Oh, and by the way, there’s also a Jabberwock on the loose.

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EVE The Awakening: Book Review

Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci is a sci-fi book set in the near future – 2087 – where a sub-species of human, known as a humanovus or, more colloquially, a chimera, has evolved. Chimeras are basically smarter, stronger, and faster humans – who also happen to have telekinesis, referred to as “the gift”. But as well as all the stigma chimeras face from the humans around them for being “better”, they also have the Interlopers to deal with: a race of aliens dedicated to hunting chimeras down.

Nineteen-year-old chimera Eve, who is notorious for her telekinesis powers in her native San Fransisco, sets off to university in the hopes of starting a new life where no-one knows who, or what, she is. However, Interlopers have been infiltrating her university and abducting chimeras – and dissecting them, alive. Which means that, as well as navigating the complex social circles of the smartest (and richest) young minds in the country, Eve has to try her best to avoid the Interlopers – or choose to fight them. All while trying to keep a low profile and pass as a human…

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NaNoWriMo 2014: From Heaven To Hell/Hydrena

Time to talk about a story idea!

When I was maybe 13, 14, 15 years old, I spent a lot of my time on a website called FictionPress.Net, posting stories and talking to people in the forums. The site users used to start informal writing competitions among themselves, and I took part in two. The second is irrelevant, but the first involved starting your story with a short passage which ran thusly:

“Stop, you thief!” Panting frantically, I ran down the escalator from the heavily puffing security guard. I clutched the pack of cigarettes tightly in my hand as I made my jump to freedom – crashing into someone. I looked up to find myself staring into a Goth boy’s green eyes.

I’m not sure if this was from something, or if the girl who started the contest just made it up; if I’ve just infringed some sort of copyright thing, I didn’t mean to and I’m sorry.

From this passage, I developed a modern fantasy story about a girl who discovered a new world and a new race (by means of the green-eyed Goth boy, who was a part of this race), and ended up having to confront Death himself. I called this story From Heaven To Hell. I made it up as I wrote it, so the plotline was a bit dubious, and what kind of character gets transported to another realm by some guy she literally just ran into and doesn’t ask where she is or what the hell just happened, I don’t know. But it was one of the few stories that I actually finished at that age, and despite the fact that my two main characters didn’t have much personality-wise (much like the rest of my characters – guess who couldn’t be bothered with character development when they were 14), they stayed with me.

I have a habit of merging story ideas together, and so when I realised during the early stages of planning The Secrets The Dead Keep that I would want some sort of magical race in my story, instead of creating a new magical race, I decided to steal the one from From Heaven To Hell, thus linking the story ideas. I decided, then, that The Secrets The Dead Keep is to be the first in the main series, which will consist of four books, and From Heaven To Hell, which I am renaming Hydrena while I rewrite it during this month’s NaNoWriMo with a better plotline and more developed characters, is to be the last. I am also planning a prequel and have numerous other ideas which I may or may not ever write.

So Hydrena – the rewrite of From Heaven To Hell – is what I am writing at the moment. We are ten days into NaNoWriMo now and unsurprisingly I am very behind (both with writing and with my uni work, but that is neither related nor the point). You want proof? Fine.

However, I am not the only one doing NaNoWriMo at my university, and we have got permission to have an overnight write-in at our library soon, so as long as I don’t continuously forget to write until then, I should be able to catch up. 🙂